Skip to main content

Gujarat's 27% healthcare facilities 'mixing up' biomedical and municipal waste: Study

By Our Representative 

Finding “serious gaps” in disposing of biomedical waste in Gujarat, a new study, jointly carried out by Delhi-based environmental group Toxics Link in collaboration of Ahmedabad’s Paryavaran Mitra, has found that 13% of health facilities in what India’s powers-that-be consider “model state” have not even tied up with a Common Bio Medical Waste Treatment Facility (CBWTF), a condition without which they are not allowed to operate under law.
Worse, in a “grave” violation, the study said, 27% of the surveyed facilities are mixing their biomedical waste with municipal waste, while 15% facilities are disposing of their hazardous waste along with biomedical waste (BMW). This not only violates the law but also leads to increased infectious waste volumes as well as release of toxic products into the environment.
According to the study, titled ‘Don’t Dump That’, which seeks to assess the current status of hospital waste management in four major districts of Gujarat – Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Gandhinagar and Sabarkantha – most healthcare facilities including clinics pay no attention to occupational health and safety of the healthcare staff.
Thus, it said, activities like needle recapping were prevalent in 87% of the facilities and around 90% lacked any policy for post exposure prophylaxis. Pointing out that absence of needle cutters from important points in hospitals is a serious concern and may result in needle stick injuries and also needle reuse, it added, needle injuries have been globally identified as one of the key reasons for the spread of infectious diseases like Hepatitis and HIV among health care staff.
Satish Sinha, associate director, Toxics Link, cautioned, “The biomedical waste management rules in Gujarat are not being implemented on ground by most healthcare facilities specially the small clinics. Regulatory agencies need to strengthen the system and take legal action against healthcare facilities not following proper norms and also closely monitor the CBWTFs.”
The study, which collected data on biomedical waste management practices pre-Covid from 145 healthcare facilities from these four districts, including government and private hospitals and small clinics, found that the segregation practices were not proper in many of the facilities.
Most of the facilities visited had not installed an effluent treatment plant and many of them were not even connected to tertiary effluent treatment plants and were releasing liquid waste directly into the sewage system, it added.
The study further said, many hospitals were also not pre-treating their laboratory waste which is required as per the rules. Since most of the healthcare facilities are operating without adhering to the norms of the biomedical waste 2016 rules, it raises a question on the quality of monitoring mechanisms being adopted in the state.
The study found the condition of the waste storage areas in most hospitals poor and violating the norms laid by the 2016 rules, adding, the concerns related to functioning of CBWTFs, as there have been several reports earlier of the violations by some of them. “We found bags filled with waste lying unattended in some of the hospital premises”, said Paryavaran Mitra’s Mahesh Pandya.

Some key findings

  • Most healthcare facilities (HCFs) do not have their own websites, which is mandatory under the new rules
  • Most HCFs have not uploaded their annual report on their website, mandatory under the new Rules.
  • Biomedical waste generation records highlight improper reporting and mixing of general waste with biomedical waste.
  • Poor infrastructure in the storage areas, basic requirements not met.
  • 13% facilities visited under the study not connected to CBWTFs
  • 27% facilities disposing municipal solid waste along with biomedical waste
  • 15% facilities disposing hazardous waste along with biomedical waste
  • Filled waste bags lying unattended in the hospital premises
  • 19% facilities not pre-treating their microbiological waste/lab waste
  • Most facilities lack pre-treatment equipment like microwave/ autoclave
  • None of the hospitals have installed effluent treatment plant
  • Recapping of needle, a frequent activity seen in 87% HCFs and in 100% clinics
  • Lack of policy for post exposure prophylaxis
  • Information and communication material not placed at strategic locations
  • Case study and existing reports show appalling conditions of CBWTFs

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Nehru legacy? GDP-centric growth has had 'no positive impact' on people's livelihood

By Dr Kamal Nayan Kabra*  Experience has shown that many counties adopt measures to go in for the growth of their GDP, basically in the existing framework, though also going in for, at the same time, new products and technologies and similar other changes. It is believed that by means of this process enough new job opportunities would emerge to meet the economy’s needs both in terms of numbers as also in terms of the requisite remuneration (wages) as also the supplies of the goods and services to maintain the economy on an even keel.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.

Conceived as infrastructure, western approach 'not fit' for building Indian cities

By Arjun Kumar* A recent webinar on Rethinking the City, organized by the Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) at the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, even as stating that Western concept of city cannot be applied on India, insisted, urban areas were conceived as infrastructure, disregarding the actual inhabitants who live in there. Those who participated in the webinar included Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani, Faculty and Dean, School of Advanced Studies and Research, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design & Technology, and Tikender Singh Panwar, Former Deputy Mayor, Shimla and Visiting Senior Fellow, IMPRI. The session was initiated by Tikender Singh Panwar providing the context on the current state of city planning in India. He emphasized the need for more sustainable models in order improved urban habitation. Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani focused on two important factors that force us to rethink the city as a construct and a space of habita

As Afghan economy crumbles, West working out emergency plans for 'cash airlifts'

By MK Bhadrakumar*  The Taliban is getting many suitors lately. It is far from the “pariah” that the Biden Administration thought it was destined to be. During the past month alone, the Taliban received six suitors from the region and beyond offering courtship – the foreign minister of Qatar; the special envoys of Russia, China and Pakistan; the High representative of UK Prime Minister; and the foreign minister of Uzbekistan who visited Kabul on Thursday.